Welcome to the 139th issue of Softpedia Linux Weekly!
The following Linux-based operating systems have been announced last week: Mandriva 2011 Alpha 2, VortexBox 1.8, Kanotix 2011-03, Ubuntu 11.04 Alpha 3, Scientific Linux 6.0, Sabayon Linux 5.5 XFCE, LXDE, E17, ServerBase and OpenVZ editions. In other news: Ubuntu 11.04 Beta preview by Softpedia; Ubuntu touts itself as the ultimate cloud platform, as announced by Canonical; the KDE Project releases KDE Software Comilation 4.6.1; Ubuntu reinvents the scrollbar; Canonical want you to send feedback for Unity; Mark Shuttleworth announced Ubuntu 11.10 a.k.a. Oneiric Ocelot. The weekly ends with the video clip of the week, the new and updated Linux distributions, and the development releases.
On February 28th, Mandriva announced the immediate availability for testing of the second Alpha version of the upcoming Mandriva 2011 Linux operating system. Mandriva 2011 Alpha 2 is now powered by Linux kernel 126.96.36.199, it features an up-to-date NetworkManager, the iBus input framework replaced the old SCIM one, lots of updates and bug fixes.
Download Mandriva 2011 Alpha 2 now from Softpedia. Remember that this is an alpha release and it should NOT be installed on production machines. It is intended to be used for testing purposes only.
Also on February 28th, Andrew Gillis announced the release of VortexBox 1.8, two months after the previous update. VortexBox 1.8 adds better support for DVD ripping, which was introduced in the previous release, and comes with the latest version of the SqueezeBox Server.
VortexBox 1.7 introduced support for DVD ripping. Previously, the Fedora-based Linux distro was used as a music server, mainly for home networks. Now, apart from the jukebox capabilities, VortexBox can also make copies of your DVDs to make it easier to manage and view them, on any device connected to the network.
On March 2nd, Maximilian Gerhard announced the release of Kanotix 2011-03, dubbed Hellfire. The latest release of the KDE-based distro uses the recently launched Debian 6 Squeeze and adds a number of packages and fixes along with a modern kernel. Kanotix 2011-03 uses the rather old, but stable, KDE SC 4.4.5, with some customizations, and introduces Libre Office 3.3.1 which replaces OpenOffice.org.
Highlights of Kanotix 2011-03:
· Kernel 2.6.38 RC6 - from Ubuntu - recompiled; · KDE SC 4.4.5 - with new Kanotix branding; · Amarok 2.4.0; · LibreOffice 3.3.1; · Grub2 Bootmanager 1.98+20100804; · KDE Network Manager 1:0.9~svn1141976 - replaced wicd; · Pidgin 2.7.10; · ntfs-3g 2011.1.15; · Wine 1.3.14 - from Lucid PPA; · Iceweasel 3.5.16; · Icedove 3.0.11; · Kanos scripts for installing Nvidia or ATI graphics driver, as well as Flash-Player-Plugin.
Kanotix 2011-03 Hellfire - Image courtesy of Kanotix
On March 3rd, Canonical announced the third and last Alpha version of the upcoming Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) operating system. Ubuntu 11.04 Alpha 3 includes Linux kernel 2.6.38 RC6, LibreOffice 3.3.1, Unity 3.6.0, Mozilla Firefox 4.0 Beta 12, Transmission 2.13, Upstart 0.9.0 and lots of bug fixes.
The Unity interface of Ubuntu 11.04 Alpha 3 has seen major improvements, including a resize function of the Dash, ability to sort applications by categories, and sort files by folders. The installer in Ubuntu 11.04 Alpha 3 has also been updated a bit, and it now allows users to upgrade their existing Ubuntu installation to the new release. The information dialog for NetworkManager show now information about the IPv6 protocol.
Ubuntu 11.04 Alpha 3
Download Ubuntu 11.04 Alpha 3 now from Softpedia. Remember that this is an alpha release and it should NOT be installed on production machines. It is intended to be used for testing purposes only.
Also on March 3rd, Troy Dawson announced the immediate availability of the Scientific Linux 6.0 operating system. As the version number indicates, Scientific Linux 6.0 is based on the latest Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 6.0 and sticks rather close to its source, apart from removing Red Hat-specific packages and artwork, but adds some packages of its own and implements some changes as well.
The emphasis for this release has been on cleaning up the various repositories and extra packages that have been offered so far, to make them easier to find as well as less confusing for users. Scientific Linux tries to stay as close to RHEL as possible. This is true for SL 6 as well, it boasts full compatibility with the upstream vendor (TUV) aka Red Hat.
Scientific Linux 6.0 - Image courtesy of DistroWatch
On March 4th, Fabio Erculiani announced a number of 'spins,' images with alternative desktops, for Sabayon Linux 5.5. The editions are: E17, XFCE, LXDE, ServerBase and OpenVZ.
Highlights of Sabayon 5.5 E17, XFCE, LXDE Spins:
· Bootable Image suitable for a CD or USB thumb drive; · Linux 2.6.37 Desktop kernel - with TuxOnIce and AUFS support; · NetworkManager 0.8 as default networking tool; · NTFS support via NTFS-3G; · Midori 0.3.2 - WebKit-based browser; · VirtualBox integration; · Super fast installation; · Very minimal setup to fit into a CD, no fancy features and drivers. Designed for low-end computers; · Enlightenment 17 Desktop Environment - recently built from SVN; · XFCE 4.8; · LXDE 0.5.0.
Sabayon 5.5 E17 Edition
Download Sabayon Linux 5.5 E17 now from Softpedia.
Download Sabayon Linux 5.5 XFCE now from Softpedia.
Download Sabayon Linux 5.5 LXDE now from Softpedia.
Download Sabayon Linux 5.5 OpenVZ now from Softpedia.
Download Sabayon Linux 5.5 ServerBase now from Softpedia.
· On March 2nd, Softpedia thought it will be a very good idea to inform you guys about a few nice changes that will be packed in the Beta release, a version that anyone is allowed to test. A version that will be made available at the end of this month, on March 31st, 2011. Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) Beta will be powered by the latest release of Linux kernel 2.6.38, and it will include LibreOffice 3.3 and the latest version of Mozilla Firefox 4.0. Read more about it here.
· Canonical is touting the cloud capabilities of its Ubuntu OS. The Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud edition is picking up steam, at least with support from hardware manufacturers and partners. And, with the integration of the OpenStack cloud platform, along with the existing Eucalyptus, it's probably the most comprehensive choice for powering the underlying infrastructure for a private cloud. Read more about it here.
· The first monthly bug-fixing release of KDE Software Compilation 4.6 is now available for download and there's every reason to grab it if you're running the latest stable version, or even earlier ones. Since KDE SC 4.6.1 is only a minor update, there are no new features but that should mean no headaches as well. Read more about it here.
· One of the main overarching goals of Ubuntu, in the UI design department, is to simplify and remove, as much as possible, the interface to make room for the actual content, the stuff users care about. For the past few releases, several changes were implemented with this aim. The latest element to get a complete makeover is the venerable scrollbar. Several Ubuntu developers and designers are now working on a redesigned, overlay scrollbar, which doesn't take away from the content at all. Read more about it here.
· Ubuntu Project sent an e-mail on March 3rd, asking people to submit their feedback for the Unity interface of the upcoming Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) operating system, due for release at the end of April, 2011. Unity 3.6.0 brought some interesting features, like transparency, better integration into GNOME/GTK, Dash resize function, ability to sort applications and files by type. Read more about it here.
· Mark Shuttleworth, father of the popular Ubuntu operating system, proudly announced on March 7th the name and the goals for the next version of Ubuntu. Yes, we are talking about Ubuntu 11.10, dubbed Oneiric Ocelot and scheduled for release on October 13th, 2011. For the Oneiric Ocelot, the Ubuntu development team will focus their efforts on improving Unity. Both the 2D and the OpenGL versions of Unity will be available in Ubuntu 11.10. Read more about it here.
Video Clip of the Week: Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal Alpha 3 In depth review with Unity
· For this week we've posted an 720p high-definition video clip that showcases the recently released Ubuntu 11.04 Alpha 3 (Natty Narwhal). The video has 13 minutes and 4 seconds, and it was posted by quidsup. Enjoy!